New JCU Medical School clinical training facility opening in Mackay

14 August 2014

A new Mater James Cook University clinical training facility officially opened at the Mater Hospital in Mackay on Aug. 12, which will increase the capacity for training doctors and nurses in the region.
The $3.3-million Mater Misericordiae Hospital JCU Clinical Training Centre (CTC) involves an ongoing relationship for use of the facility by JCU and clinical placements by Mater Mackay Hospital.

JCU Medical School
Mackay is south of Townsville, Queensland

Christine Goodwin, Operations Manager of the Rural Clinical Training and Support Program in JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry, said JCU had been training medical students at the Mackay Clinical School since 2004.
“It is a key clinical training site in the network that has been developed across regional and rural northern Australia by the College of Medicine and Dentistry,” Ms Goodwin said. “The vision is to train students in rural areas in order to provide regional and remote communities with doctors that are both sensitive and experienced in dealing with their specialised needs.”
The CTC building contains lecture/tutorial rooms, clinical skills areas, simulation and private study facilities, workspaces for JCU academic staff and Mater Mackay Clinical Educators, and an administration office.
Ms Goodwin said the CTC supports an increased number of medical students rotating through both the public and private healthcare settings during their two-year clinical training at Mackay Clinical School, providing an integrated experience of health service delivery.
Ms Goodwin said the teaching facility also enables nursing students to undertake their studies full time in Mackay instead of relocating to Townsville for the three years of their course, increasing the potential for graduates to remain in the region.
“Demand for allied health placements in Mackay is also increasing and this project will support expanded clinical training placements in those disciplines, particularly physiotherapy and pharmacy,” Ms Goodwin said.
“Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland Limited, and locally, Mater Mackay is proud to be a partner with James Cook University in providing increased clinical training places for healthcare students in Mackay,” Sandra Moore, Executive Officer Mater Mackay, said.
“Mater Mackay plays a pivotal role along with the Mackay Hospital and Health Service in the provision of health care services in this region and the benefits from the establishment of this training facility with James Cook University are tremendous,” she said.
“The Mater has been a fantastic supporter of the JCU model of distributed regional medical education from the outset,” Professor Richard Murray, Dean of JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry said.
“The new facility brings that role to fruition with the hospital able to take its proper place in a teaching health system,” he said. “A big part of success in building up the future health workforce for the north is about ‘recruit local, train local, work local.’
“Thanks to the funding support from Health Workforce Australia and the Department of Health, this exciting development will allow students to be educated in a state-of-the-art facility that will support their contribution to the health of the Mackay community as registered nurses,” Professor Lee Stewart, Dean of JCU College of Healthcare Sciences said.
This project was a partnership between JCU and Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland Ltd. Other funding sources included Health Workforce Australia Clinical Training Funding Program and the Federal Department of Health Increased Clinical Training Capacity Program.

About James Cook University Medical School

JCU Medical School specializes in rural and remote medicine. The JCU program has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.
Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 29, 2014

Entry Requirements for the JCU Medical Program

  • Entry is directly from high school. Students may also transfer into the program during their undergraduate degree or at the completion of their undergraduate degree.
  • High school cumulative average necessary to be considered is a minimum of 85% in Grade 12 subjects, including prerequisite subject grades.
  • If you are applying to the program after you have partially or fully completed your post-secondary studies, you should have a Canadian GPA of 80% cumulative average across all university studies, but to have a competitive application, applicants should have achieved at least an 82% cumulative average.
  • Interview: held in-person and via video conference

Apply to James Cook University Medical School!


Do you have questions about JCU Medical School and its MBBS program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Officer Broghan Dean at or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada) for more information about how you can study in Australia!